Supply ship named for John Glenn arrives at space station

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Record-breaking NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson is set to shatter another mark, and you and your students can celebrate this historic event with some fun and educational resources that will enhance your students' knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston then took over arm operations and pulled the Cygnus in for berthing at the Earth-facing port of the station's central Unity module.

Launched atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas 5 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Tuesday (April 18), the S.S. John Glenn could have arrived at the space station earlier, but held off its approach (referred to by NASA as "station-keeping") to allow Russia's Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft to dock with crewmembers Jack Fischer of NASA and Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian federal space corporation Roscosmos on Thursday.

Working from inside the orbiting lab, U.S. astronaut Peggy Whitson and her French counterpart Thomas Pesquet operated the station's external robotic arm to grab the approaching spaceship at 6:05 am (1005 GMT).

This was the seventh mission to resupply the space station for Orbital ATK. His widow, Annie, granted permission for Orbital ATK to use his name for the spacecraft.

"We're very proud to welcome on board the S.S. John Glenn", said French astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

Astronaut Peggy Whitson joined Pesquet at the controls as the spacecraft orbited earth about 250 miles above Germany. President Donald Trump will call her from the Oval Office to offer congratulations.

Commander of the station's Expedition 51 crew, Whitson will officially set the USA record Monday for most cumulative days in space, surpassing NASA astronaut Jeff Williams' record of 534 days.

Whitson is already America's most experienced female spacewalker, with 53 hours 22 minutes of EVA time during eight previous excursions.

Whitson is making her third space station flight. Her first stint as commander was in April 2008 and she's commanding the current crew.

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